Cover Image: Alpha Bots

Alpha Bots

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Member Reviews

An attempt at irony, but unfortunately just an uncomfortable read. This novel tries to balance humour with overt sex but feels far too cosy with the misogynistic tropes it hopes to challenge. Ostensibly: Stepford sexbot trundles towards autonomy in a clunky bildungsroman.
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This is the first book I have read by Ava Lock and am grateful to the publishers for letting me read an ARC. The story intrigued me from the start, a revisit to the Stepford Wives but solely from the view of one wife who is aware that she was an artificial life form.  The book addresses many themes including misogyny, feminism, romance, dominance and non-hetero relationships.
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Book Review: Alpha Bots
Author: Ava Lock
Publisher: Semiscope
Publication Date: March 20, 2020
Review Date: November 25, 2020

From the blurb:
“In the near future, artificial intelligence will be in every home. She will be whatever you want her to be. That’s right. You can have a charming womanoid do all your cooking and cleaning for you. Just think. No more chores! She can be your wife, a nanny to your kids, or just the housekeeper. It’s all up to you.

Just set your user preferences.

But first, this amazing technology has to pass alpha testing.

One robot woman, Cookie Rifkin, keeps failing. She needs to figure out how to control her anxiety, but her husband set his user preferences too low for her to learn. He just wants a pleasure robot, but she keeps fighting her programming.

Will Cookie ever fulfill her potential?
Or will her story end in another fatal error?”

“While exploring sensitive gender issues, ALPHA BOTS manages to maintain the page-turning tension of a technothriller, making it the perfect book club book. The works of Philip K. Dick, William Peter Blatty, and Isaac Asimov are directly referenced and fully integrated as plot points. The narrative also mashes up content from Ira Levin's "Stepford Wives" and Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" brilliantly. “
——
I think the author bit off more than she could chew. The plot was not coherent; it rambled all over the place. If you will look above at the blurb, this is a mash-up of the well known and well written sci fi books listed above. However, there is not a real plot or a real story in Alpha Bots.  It’s just a hodgepodge of ideas, and references to other famous science fiction works. 

The characters were not believable; the dialogue was juvenile, as were the characters. I can see that there was a desire to explore important current topics such as AI and gender. However, the author just couldn’t pull it together. I’m not sure this book was edited by a professional. If not, that might help in the future. 

I give it about 2 Stars, and a highly do NOT recommend. If you are curious about the book, see if your library is offering it. Do not waste your money buying this book.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me access to the book. 

This review will be published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon.

#netgalley #alphabots #avalock #ai #gender
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A little disjointed at times, but over all very funny. I really enjoyed the writing and the more character driven speculative fiction aspect, and the campy humor that was sprinkled throughout. I think where it falls short is that there is a large reliance on the reader being familiar with various science fiction narratives from different medias (film, prose, etc.) in order for this to be understood as a feminist satire.
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3.5 stars. What if the Stepford wives rebel against their oppressive husbands……..fight club style? Well, then you end up with this book. This book is a satire on so many social issues and it does so with a bizarre mixture of robotics and violence, and a big wink to several sci-fi classics.

The book is about Cookie a robotic housewife whose settings are set so strict by her husband that she has no freedom or free will at all. Until she meets a cop, Maggie, and an unknown man, Wayne. From that moment on she realizes she could be a free woman, but she has to want to break free herself and this is not always easy or painless (emotionally and physically). I won’t go further into detail to avoid spoilers, but the first part of the book strongly adhered to the “Stepford Wives” and “Fight Club” storylines, whereas during the second part of the book the story completely breaks free. 

I love “new” technology in sci-fi books, only I have this thing that I want to understand (or try to understand) the tech that is described and I want to believe that this tech could be possible sometime in the future. Some of the tech in this book sounded wonderful, but I struggled to see how it was possible. For instance, there is this recyclone device. You can throw something in it and it breaks it down to the atomic level of the material. Ok, I get that and I believe there could be possibilities to do that, but then if you think really hard, you can also create anything you want with this machine and this is where I got lost. How is this possible? Obviously, this is not so important for the storyline and it’s more of a pet peeve of mine, but I just had to mention it for those tech lovers out there. 

There is a LGBTQIA label on this book, which is one of the reasons I decided to read it, but I have to say that, even though there is LGBTQIA representation, the content is rather minimal. 
I’m still not completely decided on how I feel about this book, I was intrigued throughout the entire book and really wanted to continue reading, but at the same time it unsettled me at more than one occasion, which reduced my enjoyment of the book. The book also changed direction a few times, which sometimes made it difficult for me to follow. That said, this is a book that I will remember, so I round up my rating to 4 stars.

This book is not for everyone, it’s dark, gritty and violent, but at the same time completely over the top and funny. If you’re looking for a story that advocates equality and diversity and you like the Stepford Wives, Fight Club, the bloody Tarantino style or the craziness in Trainspotting then I recommend reading this book.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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Mixed feelings. It was a hell of a ride, it went up and down like crazy and I still can't say - do I like this book or not?
I started loving it because female AIs becoming self-aware, starting a revolution against men and forming a female Fight Club? Yes! Give me more!
Then I reached multiple parts over the book which... Well, I wasn't a fan of. Paula's death, for example. Maggie turning out to be the villain. Wayne. I did not like Wayne. I am sorry for everyone who did but for me? Nope. I was actually rooting for Cookie x Maggie throughout the book.
Now, would I recommend it? For a selected group of people who is interested in feminism, but also liked Fight Club. I am probably not going to read the second book. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great either.
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this was a really enjoyable scifi novel, the characters were great and it was really well-written. I look forward to more from the series and author.
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Best way to describe this one is deliciously weird in all the right ways. On point with the character development and story, a really interesting take on the Stepford Wives concept. The way Maggie and Cookie's relationship and personalities evolve made this book for me.
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Alpha Bots was an absolutely wild adventure. Without spoiling too much, it's Stepford Wives meets Fight Club, brushing up to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep along the way.

Cookie is a perfect housewife with a few secrets (and a hefty banana bill) who finds herself in the centre of a an experiment.

I found this such a fun read and laughed aloud more than once. It's dark and violent at times, but is overwhelmingly just a great adventure. There's a chapter by chapter trigger warning list which may be a real help to some readers.

It's got social criticism in spades and it's just awesome to see something like the Stepford Wives from the point of view of one of the AIs. 

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publishers for hi icing me this ebook advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It was intense in parts, graphic in some, and overall thought provoking. Still not sure how everything came together but I could easily see this happening once AI comes together. Glad I came across this book.
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I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley in exchange from an honest review.

I typically dont read LGBT or Sci- fi type of books, but still enjoyed this book. It had an really original concept, female android models are build for the sole purpose to be someone's wives. They are used to cook, clean and for sex. The minute they bring more trouble than pleasure, they are allowed to be killed off.

What happens when they become jailbreak and are allowed to overide user restrictions?
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"Alpha Bots by Ava Lock is an interesting mystery, that will leave you guessing on what will happen for the majority of the story. It has great humor and character development. I love stories that seem fresh, and this is definitely one that I haven't read something similar to before. It has LGBTQ representation and I really liked that, I appreciate more books are coming out with representation.

**Received as an ARC for honest review thanks to Netgalley and publisher for the opportunity**
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When I first read the blurb for this book I was fascinated and wanted to know more, yet as I got started on Chapter 1 I really struggled to connect with Cookie and ultimately became frustrated with the language used and the misogynistic undertones. Based on other reviews I'm lead to believe that this story does indeed pick up and is entertaining, I however have had to admit defeat.
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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

This is not my usual genre,  however I wanted to take the opportunity to read something from outside my norm. And I am glad I did!! Thank you for  opening up my mind to something totally different. Characters were so well developed that I felt as though I knew them. I love when a book draws you into the story and it feels like you are living it with them.
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There was a lot to unpack with this story, and I’m still trying to figure out how I felt about it. The premise was very interesting, very unconventional. We see Cookie evolve from a mindless housewife to an intelligent heroine ready to right the world’s wrongs. I can’t describe much more than that for fear of spoilers. In the vaguest terms possible, I didn’t really like the ending. I didn’t think it resolved all of the problems, and I thought Maggie from the beginning was more complex than she seemed at the end.
A fun but thought provoking read. Four stars.
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Alpha Bots is a take on The Stepford Wives with a robot-powered feminist uprising front and center. It’s fast-paced, funny, satirical, and absurd, with some campy horror thrown in (some parts are downright gruesome). Other readers have said this is Stepford Wives meets Fight Club meets Truman Show, and I think that’s pretty spot-on. These AI women represent the desires of bottom-of-the-barrel cishet men, from expectations of submissiveness to racial fetishism, but will they be able to push beyond their programming?

The satire gets dark, and this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s not for the faint of heart, for sure. I feel like Alpha Bots caught me when I was in just the right mood for it. I’m not sure I completely followed the plot, but it was an entertaining ride!

Note: There are a LOT of trigger warnings. You can find a chapter-by-chapter list in the paperback version’s “Look Inside” preview on Amazon.
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This book was amazing had me thinking of Stepford wives and even a newer program humans very similar.
Loved reading this book think it may be the start of a series chapter 1 of new book was at the end but no spoilers here. If you watched humans when it was on tv and watched the stepford wives movies (original and newer version) then you will love this book.
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This book simply wasn't for me. The plot was hard to follow, it was difficult to connect with any of the characters and I could never tell if this was meant to be satire or not. I think the author had some good ideas, but this wasn't the book I thought I was picking up.
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I don’t really know how to feel about this book. The characters were interesting and it was paced pretty well, but at the same time I felt like it was a little long and could have been edited better. There was something that just felt missing with this book for me, and I’m not sure what that is. 

**Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review**
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Boy did this read go into the uncanny valley for me fast. I'm currently studying a masters and my research topic has been along the lines of inauthenticity, the uncanny and the rise of AI, in particular focusing on sex robots, so Alpha Bots, really hit home in that regard. I would greatly recommend this book t those who love sci-fi books or films, it's very dystopian, and the best description would be if the realm of Bladerunner was combined with an episode of Black Mirror, you'd end up with this book, perhaps it's due to the global pandemic but if sci-fi satire has ironically become more of a please humanity don't go down this path. Especially given since the pandemic the purchase of sex dolls and sex robots has been on the rise!
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